Jacqueline McBrien works as a consultant paediatrician and has a special interest in community child health and children’s development. She is a graduate of University College Galway and has a Masters in Child Health from Cardiff University.
She with her husband and two daughters sponsor a girl in Mali.
She spent some time working in the Philippines and Rwanda.
Because I am a Girl I ask… that the government can see beyond the sums and construct a budget that balances but does not destroy. Foreign aid, child benefit and the old-age pension should not be touched!
Because I am a Girl I believe… that the current economic slowdown presents an opportunity for a change of direction in Ireland. Bust/boom cycles only create greater gaps between the poor and the wealthy. I also believe the heroes in Ireland, and developing countries, are the extraordinary people running voluntary organisations helping those that need it in their communities. In my native village in Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, the community built houses with a wonderful lively day centre which has become the centre for all activities, yoga, card playing, art exhibitions, presidential visits etc.
Because I am a Girl I hope… that adequate resources and support will be injected to front line staff in the Child Protection structure. Child protection is everybody’s business and we all have a responsibility if we know of a child in danger. The vast majority of children in Ireland are well cared for in their families. We need the referendum to increase children’s rights to further protect those who are not.
Because I am a Girl I wonder… if and when advances in genetic engineering will revolutionise the treatment and prevention of the most crippling conditions in children such as cystic fibrosis and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Because I am a Girl I dream: As a young girl in the 1980’s, I dreamed that Ireland would become a more equal society for all (irrespective of means, gender, and race); that there would be peace in the North; and that there would be liberation of the social laws. We are well on our way to achieving many of these dreams, thanks to men and women like John Hume and Mary Robinson. My dream is that other nations may experience this liberty – Middle East, African nations, Korea, Burma…
Because I am a Girl I remember… lots of good times in my childhood. Sun long days swimming in the sea, snow-ball fights on the main street, ceili’s in Eachleim, midnight mass on Christmas Eve…
Because I am a Girl I like… the peace and beauty on the top of a mountain and at the edge of a tide.
Because I am a Girl I dislike… grumbling and begrudgery.
Because I am a Girl I feel… very lucky in my personal and professional life. More so, when I read on this site that more than 100 million girls under 18, some as young as 12, are expected to marry over the next decade and that sixty-two million girls are not in primary school.
Because I am a Girl I… can appreciate and celebrate both male and female “genius” and all strands and spectrums in between.
– Jacqueline McBrien